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November 23, 2009

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Home » Sports » Soccer

Messi adds to Barca's woes

BARCELONA coach Pep Guardiola said he was concerned over an injury to Lionel Messi that forced the Argentine forward to be substituted during the team's 1-1 La Liga draw at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Messi was replaced in the 75th minute by Bojan Krkic at San Mames with what appeared to be a torn left thigh muscle, the club said.

"We took him off because he was in pain. We'll do more tests tomorrow but the outlook is not good," Guardiola told a news conference.

Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic also missed the game with a thigh strain, while Eric Abidal and Yaya Toure were laid low with the HIN1 virus.

The mounting injury list comes at a bad time for the European champion which hosts Inter Milan in the Champions League tomorrow when a defeat combined with a win for Rubin Kazan would put it out of the competition.

Next Sunday it takes on the new La Liga leader Real Madrid at the Nou Camp.

Real replaced Barcelona at the top on Saturday after beating Racing Santander 1-0 at home

Manuel Pellegrini's side now has 28 points from 11 games, one ahead of Barca, after Gonzalo Higuain got the only goal at the Bernabeu.

Daniel Alves gave Barca the lead just after the break at San Mames but the Basques battled back with substitute Gaizka Toquero racing through to level just past the hour mark.

Well-taken goals

Earlier, Sevilla beat promoted Tenerife 2-1 away with well-taken goals in each half from Diego Perotti and Renato.

Manolo Jimenez's side held on to third place with 25 points, three ahead of Deportivo la Coruna, which climbed to fourth after an injury-time penalty gave it a 2-1 victory over visiting Atletico Madrid.

Struggling Atletico remained in the relegation zone with seven points, behind 17th-placed Racing on goal difference.

In Italy, Inter Milan defeated Bologna 3-1 and extended its lead in the Serie A to eight points on Saturday.

Parma improved to third following a 3-2 win against Fiorentina.

Inter has 32 points, eight more than Juventus. Parma followed with 23, and AC Milan with 22.

Diego Milito, Mario Balotelli and Esteban Cambiasso scored for Inter, which finished with 10 players after fullback Maicon was sent off for abusive language.


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